Guide me this day as I contemplate the truths You have revealed in Your Word and in Your World.
Illuminate to me the truths you would have me dwell upon, Like a meal laid before me meant not simply to be consumed, But to be tasted and savored, The flavors remembered and revisited throughout the day.
Whatever is true, noble, right, pure, and lovely, Cause my mind to rest in these things.
At the same time, O Shield and Defender of my soul,
Protect my mind from reading Your Word through a lens of Falsehood, shabbiness, evil, impurity, and ugliness.
When I come upon a passage or idea that confuses or confounds my miniscule mind, Keep me from distortion and lies.
I wake in the early hours, a weight pressing me down. I have spent days, weeks wrestling through the questions of the mysteries and goodness of God, and I am weary. So weary.
Most recently, but not unrelated, I had found myself stuck in the theology of compatibalism: that God is both completely sovereign and man has free will.
None of these make sense to me in my own brain, and I have been forced to conclude that He is God and I am not. All of these things are true, and God is still good.
Okay, God, I say. I’m ready to move on from this stupor and stuckness. This aching and groaning. This wondering and fighting. This wilderness and exile. I’m ready to walk in freedom and gladness and light. Ready, set, go!
I needed to buy steaks for dinner, bananas, and gift bags, so I drove down Washington Street on Friday morning. I planned to go to Meijer where I would find all of those things and enjoy a relatively calming experience. But Wal-Mart appeared first, and I almost kept going, but something made me turn in instead.
I don’t really like Wal-Mart. The wheels on the carts always get stuck, it feels crammed, and something about it is just depressing. But I pulled in and un-fastened my three-year-old from her car seat. I had little more than a half hour to zip through the aisles with my list. Bananas. Check. Steak. Check. Wine. Check. Birthday gift for my 6-year-old’s friend. Check. A plastic watering can, and then off to find a gift bag for my husband’s 40th birthday gift.
As soon as my cart entered the gift aisle, I got that feeling.
Ye fearful saints fresh courage take, the clouds that you much dread, are big with mercy and will break in blessings on your head
– William Cowper
Almost 20 years ago, I climbed a sooty hill in Lima, Peru. The sky was overcast and my friends and I wanted to stretch our legs, near the end of a long summer of missions work among the poor. We learned later that we had been hiking through a field of abandoned landmines left by rebels. But we were college students and the climb ahead was all we had in our heads.
These days, the memory is as foggy as that polluted Lima morning, but I remember the dirt clinging to my boots and calves as we ascended the hill. I also recall that after a while, the blanket-like cloud cover thinned and I began to see a sliver of blue.
I turn over in bed, the fingers of darkness pressing me down, only half rousing from a dark and strange dream …
In my dream, someone had died, someone who was supposed to marry another. It was tragic. And then suddenly, somehow the idea gets turned on me, and I am wandering through a weird gift shop wondering if I am still married, and if I’m not, what am I supposed to do with this precious ring on my hand?
Dreams. The bizarre telling out of all our fears and pains and hopes and desires. It is a kindness to wake up.
I had a baby three days before Covid-19 hit Indiana. This proves that having a baby under normal circumstances is not something I know how to do anymore. (For all who may be unfamiliar with the circumstances, refer to Lucy Jean’s birth story.)
James Steven decided to arrive in typical chaotic fashion.
Image taken from “The Seven Silly Eaters,” by Mary Ann Hoberman, illustrated by Marla Frazee
I want to write, but three in children in four years has tuckered me out.
Instead of words, there are toy horses hiding in the corner of my room mocking me, Will you let me sit here and stare at you while you think and ponder and write or will my presence so unnerve you that you are forced to return me to the third-floor playroom, and, in so doing, be distracted by half a dozen other things calling your name?
I let the horse sit and stare at me.
My days are filled with sorting toddler underwear and trade negotiations over favorite toys. (In the middle of writing this last sentence, the voice of my four-year-old trickles down the stairs, just as I’m settling in with my blanket, after a day of birthday shopping, writing for my paid job, toting children to and from school, lawn mowing, dish washing, and bath giving.)